[Desktop 13.04-Topic] Having a smart ubuntu desktop

Matthew Paul Thomas mpt at canonical.com
Fri Oct 19 08:51:40 UTC 2012

Hash: SHA1

Hi Didier

Naming this proposal "a smart ubuntu desktop" is poisoning the well.
It implies that rejecting the proposal would necessarily be dumb. The
name also would be unclear to someone looking at a UDS schedule.

Instead I suggest calling it something descriptive, like "Fewer
default apps, on-demand installs".

Didier Roche wrote on 18/10/12 10:10:
> ...
> In a world where we are using more and more connected web services 
> doing some of our tasks (web mails, online documentation editing, 
> online music players…) should we imagine having a more adapated
> image to our users? This will mean reducing our main image
> footprint by removing some of those tools we install by default:
> I'm thinking of thunderbird, libreoffice, rhythmbox and other main
> applications of our desktop for instance.
> The counter-part would be to make our desktop smarter. I can
> imagine: - having the messaging menu (or an icon in the launcher,
> or an icon in the dash) showing, the first time you try to
> configure your email account, a window asking for your email

In 12.10, to reduce clutter in the menu bar, the messaging menu is
hidden by default. It appears only once you have set up an account in
a messaging application. Personally, I think that is smarter.

Do you think showing the messaging menu by default would be a
reasonable price to pay for the reduced image footprint from not
installing Thunderbird by default?

> - based on the answer, either proposing to directly use a web 
> application (with unity integration) for an @gmail.com,
> @yahoo.com… and other email providers known to have good web
> integrations. Otherwise, proposing to install thunderbird, ideally
> opening the account creating setup prefiled with the information
> already be done. (we can of course imagine a checkbox to override
> the "smart" behavior).

What would the checkbox do?

> This is just a field example, we can expand to document editing,
> and a lot of other areas.

The proposal might be clearer if you gave more than one specific
example. There is no document-editing equivalent to the messaging menu.

> There is already some integration of this for other parts of the
> stack (like double clicking on an odt when you don't have
> libreoffice installed), we can make sure all our desktop have this
> kind of tweaks, and try to make a sharper, more adaptive image to
> our finale users, without having lots of post-install applications
> to remove.
> ...

I'd like productivity applications in Ubuntu Software Center to have
metadata for the kinds of documents they can handle. Then if you tried
to open a document that you didn't have an application for, USC could
show you appropriate applications to choose from.

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